This tag is for questions about the foundations of mathematics, and the formalization of mathematical concepts in foundational theories (e.g. set theory, category theory, and type theory).

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55 views

Could mathematical reasoning be non-axiomatic?

"Mathematics is not a deductive science—that's a cliché. When you try to prove a theorem, you don't just list the hypotheses, and then start to reason. What you do is trial and error, experimentation, ...
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0answers
40 views
3
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1answer
82 views

Existential axioms for category theory

There are some existential axioms in set theory, for example, axiom schema of specification. It's my understanding that category theory isn't based essentially on set theoretic foundation. If so, I ...
26
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2answers
1k views

Is there a model of ZFC inside which ZFC does not have a model?

Assuming ZFC has a model, is there a model of ZFC such that in that model, ZFC has no model? Also, assuming ZFC has a model, is there a model of ZFC such that in that model, ZFC is inconsistent?
4
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0answers
79 views

The monadic second order theory with $<$ and Presburger arithmetic

Consider the monadic second order logic over the natural numbers with $<$ as a predicate, i.e. the second order logic over $(\mathbb N, 1, <)$, where we can quantify over sets and individual ...
5
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2answers
83 views

Formal systems in which $\forall x \in \mathbb{R}(x \neq 0 \rightarrow x^{-1} \neq 0)$ is true, but the contrapositive is disallowed.

Question. Are there any formal systems out there for which $$\forall x \in \mathbb{R}(x \neq 0 \rightarrow x^{-1} \neq 0)$$ is true, but the contrapositive $$\forall x \in \mathbb{R}(x^{-1} =...
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0answers
21 views

Symmetry vs. commutativity and more..

I was reading the following segment of an article about commutativity: ...
1
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1answer
55 views

Axiom in Foundations, Extensionality

In my Foundations of Mathematics Textbook I encountered the following problem. The book states that for the domain of discourse $D = \{a,b,c\}$ and binary relation defined as $E = \{(a,b),\, (a,c)\}$ ...
6
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2answers
774 views

Is TOP a small category?

A quick question... is the category of topological spaces and continuous maps a small category? If so how do we know and if not how do we know not?
5
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2answers
189 views

How many sorts are there in Terry Tao's set theory?

In his 2010 post, A computational perspective on set theory, Terry Tao writes: The standard modern foundation of mathematics is constructed using set theory. With these foundations, the ...
2
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1answer
83 views

Are sets and symbols the building blocks of mathematics?

A formal language is defined as a set of strings of symbols. I want to know that if "symbol" is a primitive notion in mathematics i.e we don't define what a symbol is. If it is the case that in ...
1
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1answer
90 views

Is it circular to define the Von Neumann universe using “sets”?

I was just reading the Wikipedia page on the Von Neumann universe, where it is stated that this universe "is often used to provide an interpretation or motivation of the axioms of ZFC." However, later ...
3
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2answers
87 views

Explicit example of countable transitive model of $\sf ZF$

Do we know any explicit example of a countable transitive model for $\sf ZF$ or $\sf ZFC$?
2
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1answer
81 views

Why wasn't Bertrand Russell surprised by the set of all sets that contain themselves?

Russell's paradox deals with the question: "Does the set of all sets that do not contain themselves, contain itself?" What about the question: "Does the set of all sets that contain themselves, ...
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0answers
28 views

Definition of Operation

What are operations in Mathematics? I do not find it formally defined anywhere. What is the difference between operation and function? Earlier I thoght operations are just binary operations. But later ...
4
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1answer
42 views

Why do metric spaces that produce the same topology have different number theoretical difficulties?

Consider finding a a point with rational distance to the corners of unit square. Under the Euclidean metric this is very hard. (unsolved) Under the "city block" or taxicab metric this is very easy ...
1
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1answer
29 views

Degenerate zeroes, fundamental theorem of algebra.

The theorem is also stated as follows: every non-zero, single-variable, degree n polynomial with complex coefficients has, counted with multiplicity, exactly n roots. The equivalence of the two ...
2
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1answer
77 views

Does PA prove that Con(PA) implies Con(ZF-I) and Con(NFU)?

I read from many sources that PA and ZF-I (a suitable axiomatization of ZF minus Infinity plus its negation) are bi-interpretable, but is PA enough to prove that they are equiconsistent? Specifically ...
0
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0answers
28 views

How to Prove? - If the interpretation of theory is consistent, then the interpreted theory is consistent

Let L1 and L2 be finite or recursive languages, and T a theory in the language of L2. A translation of L1 into T is an assignment to each sentence S of L1 into a sentence i(S) of L2 such that: (T0) i(...
3
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1answer
115 views

Justification of ZFC without using Con(ZFC)?

I saw this post by Carl Mummert, which describes how one can 'see' the reasonableness of ZFC, via iterating the power-set operation starting from the empty set. However, this iterations proceed in ...
18
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4answers
2k views

Are professional mathematicians concerned with formalizing infinitely many dependent choices?

I've noticed certain arguments in analysis textbooks which rely on the principle of being able to pick elements infinitely many times. For example, an argument might go "Pick $x_1\in S$ such that $P(...
3
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1answer
97 views

How do you visualize $\mathcal{P}(1)$ in constructive mathematics?

If I understand correctly, constructive mathematics doesn't prove that the powerset $\mathcal{P}(X)$ of a set $X$ is a Boolean algebra; in general, all we can say is that its a Heyting algebra. This ...
2
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1answer
41 views

Are there other methods of proof other than contrapositive, induction, contradiction, construction, and counter example?

I have only heard of a few methods of proof, namely, contrapositive, induction, contradiction, construction, and counter example. Are there other types of proofs?
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9answers
2k views

Is formal truth in mathematical logic a generalization of everyday, intuitive truth?

I'm trying to wrap my head around the relationship between truth in formal logic, as the value a formal expression can take on, as opposed to commonplace notions of truth. Personal background: When I ...
3
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0answers
70 views

Are all statements about math inherently formal? Can one do math without formal logic? [duplicate]

Are all people who do mathematics applying (whether they know it or not) formal logic? Does every statement someone may make about math, at its core, a formal statement in mathematical logic? (I'm ...
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1answer
72 views

Existence of some categories in the category of categories

I'm studying category of categories. I read that when there are categories $A,B$, it is allowed to define the product $A\times B$. Equalizers and coequalizers also exist. However, there are some ...
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1answer
78 views

Has it been proved that ∨ ∧ ¬ ⇒ ⇔ ∀ ∃ and predicates are enough to express all known mathematics?

I frequently encounter this statement in math books: "All of known mathematics can be expressed in terms of elementary predicates, logical connectives, and quantifiers."
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1answer
45 views

Different Mathematics

Hey I am a high school student who is very interested in the philosophy of mathematics. I was watching this talk by Stephen Wolfram about whether or not mathematics is invented or discovered. In it he ...
3
votes
3answers
151 views

In which order should I learn the foundations of mathematics? [closed]

I know from Wikipedia that those are the four pillars of the foundations of mathematics: Proof theory Aximatic Set theory Model Theory Recursion Theory and I want to learn all of them, the problem ...
7
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1answer
109 views

Can these definitions of the words “problem” and “solution” be formalized, and if so, has this been done? If so, where can I learn more about it?

I had a thought. Define that: Vague Definition 0. A problem consists of: a set $X$ a set $Y$ a function $f : X \rightarrow Y$ a way $\overline{X}$ of representing the elements of $X$ ...
6
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1answer
123 views

How can mathematics work in wildly different set theories?

There are several set theories, e.g. ZFC and NF, which often have different axioms or are even outright contradictory. And yet most of other branches of mathematics, e.g. abstract algebra or topology, ...
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0answers
45 views

Is PA the most common foundation for arithmetic?

Are Peano Axioms the most common and widely accepted axiomatization of arithmetic, just as ZFC is the most common and widely accepted foundation for all of mathematics?
3
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0answers
42 views

What type of reasoning is employed when studying metalogic?

When studying, or doing any kind of reasoning about logic, what type of logic is used? Or how is the reasoning structured?
2
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2answers
72 views

How are image and pre-image different from range and domain respectively?

How are image and pre-image different from range and domain respectively, in Layman's terms (as simple as possible)? Are they basically just keywords that often indicate more nuanced subsets of the ...
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2answers
390 views

Is PA the first axiomatization of arithmetic to be discovered? [closed]

Is Peano Arithmetic the first axiomatization of arithmetic to be discovered?
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0answers
27 views

Why is it impossible to prove absolute consistency of a theory falling prey to Godel's theorems?

Why is it impossible to prove absolute consistency of a theory T falling prey to Godel's theorems? I understand that a theory falling prey to Godel's second incompleteness theorem cannot prove its own ...
0
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1answer
23 views

Need an assistance with a specific step of a specific Division Algorithm proof

I'm trying to wrap my head around a Division Algorithm's proof. That is, Let $a, b \in \mathbb{Z}, a \neq 0$. Then there are unique $q,r \in \mathbb{Z}$ such that $b = qa + r, 0 \leq r < |a|$. ...
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2answers
823 views

Why doesn't this definition of natural numbers hold up in axiomatic set theory?

I was reading about older definitions of the natural numbers on Wikipedia here (in retrospect, not the best place to learn mathematics) and came across the following definition for the natural numbers:...
0
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2answers
54 views

Impossibility of proving a foundation to be consistent

An argument came to my mind that seems really mind-blowing and I haven't found it anywhere. Here's how it goes: We call a formal system F embodied in classical logic a foundation of mathematics when ...
0
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1answer
45 views

Why include equality in FOL for ZFC?

What are the pros and cons of working with first-order logic with equality for constructing ZFC, when all you have to do is make '$x=y$' a shorthand for: $$'\forall z [z \in x \Leftrightarrow z \in y] ...
0
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1answer
35 views

Any foundational theory of math falls prey to the incompleteness theorems - true or false?

I heard somewhere on the internet once something along the following lines: Any conceivable foundational theory of mathematics (be it ZFC or, if ZFC was found to be inconsistent, some modification ...
2
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1answer
59 views

Is isomorphism defined between large categories?

By definition, an isomorphism between two objects in a category is a morphism so and so.. We know that $\mathbf {Cat}$ is the categories of small categories so that morphisms between objects are ...
2
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1answer
37 views

Could relational operators be used to construct formal theory of natural numbers which is “stronger” than Peano Axioms?

This is a beginner's question about foundational construction of (alternative?) number theory. The notion of mathematical equality is closely related to logico-philosophical notion of 'Law of Identity'...
1
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1answer
96 views

What book on Set Theory is best to understand motivation for axiomatization?

I am Master of Science in ICT, and I had always been in loved in math. On University we haven't been doing any Foundational Mathematics, the closest being Automata Theory and mention of Church-Turing ...
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3answers
4k views

Can proof by contradiction 'fail'?

I am familiar with the mechanism of proof by contradiction: we want to prove $P$, so we assume $¬P$ and prove that this is false; hence $P$ must be true. I have the following devil's advocate ...
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0answers
49 views

Prereqisites for: Subsystems of second order arithmetic

As the title suggests, im wondering what the prerequisites for Simpsons book, Subsystems of... are? Unfortunately I cant find it in the preface. My background is a Bachelor in Philosophy and ...
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1answer
73 views

Alternatives to pure quantifier logic

Are there some alternatives for pure quantifier logic? Pure quantifier logic is axioms and rules of inference added to proposition logic to result first order logic. Are there other axioms that ...
5
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0answers
91 views

Is it possible to formalize all mathematics in terms of ordinals only?

Our experience shows that all finitary mathematical objects could be encoded using the natural numbers, and all operations on those objects could be expressed in terms of a few basic operations on ...
5
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2answers
346 views

Seeking a new, more natural definition of the cartesian product of sets

In "standard" set theory usually we have the definition $(a,b) := \{ \{ a \} , \{a,b\}\}$, see for example wikipedia for other similar ones. Then if we set for two sets $A,B$ $$ A\times B := \{ (a,b) ...